Gastrotastic has been on a bit of an extended break: let’s just say summer slipped into September and before I knew it, it was October. Not to say that I have been slacking, the recipe creating has been going apace so expect more delish options to try.
As the weather is undeniably getting colder, my mind has turned to one pot cooking. You know the deal: your favourite meat or poultry and some vegetables and stock that quietly get on with becoming a delicious and hearty meal and leave you with time to do other things like be social with whoever you’re sharing the meal with.
Today’s meal features chicken and lentils. Surprisingly, poultry hasn’t had much of a look in so far on Gastrotastic, and for those who’ve switched off at the thought of lentils, I am going to do a quick one sentence plug. Lentils are easy to cook, very tasty, healthy and not in an earnest life-in=monochrome- way either and finally they are cheap. There, done it. In the recipe below I have added some chorizo – but it is not essential and for those who may doubt the simplicity of these dishes there is a video of me doing it all in less than a minute and a half on the all new Gastrotastic you tube channel – so do subscribe. The ingredient quantities below will suffice for two very hungry people but you can always double up portions if you are cooking for more.
Playing in the Gastrotastic kitchen today was Sister Sledge’s Thinking Of You. For those who fell in love with Nile Rodger’s guitar genius on Daft Punk’s Get Lucky, hear him here at the height of his powers: the opening solo bars are worth the price of admission alone and a blog post all of its own!
Chicken and Lentil Stew
Difficulty Factor: Easy-Peasy
2 Chicken legs (thigh and leg with skin on)
200 grams of green lentils
1 tin of plum tomatoes
1 red onion roughly chopped
3 cloves of garlic peeled and chopped roughly
20 grams of fresh thyme chopped finely
250mls of Chicken or Vegetable Stock
150mls of white wine (anything knocking about in the fridge should work)
100 grams of chorizo sausage (optional)
Salt (to taste)
As said before one pot cooking is very simple and a great place to start if the prospect of cooking brings you out in a sweat. First things first, chop the chicken so that the drumstick and thigh are separate. Do not remove the skin as this will add depth of flavour and will ensure the meat does not dry out in the pan.
Next, chop your onions and garlic and thyme and if you are going to add chorizo chop that into one centimetre thick slices. Heat a heavy based pan and pour some olive oil so that the bottom of the pan is evenly covered and fry the onions and garlic, taking care not to burn the garlic by reducing the heat. Once your onions have begun to soften, add the chicken into the pan and brown fully. Once the chicken is browned add the tin of tomatoes, stock and wine and bring to the boil before simmering for ten or so minutes. It is at this point that you add the lentils the thyme and if you are using it, chorizo, cover the pot and leave to simmer for a further twenty minutes. Really, that’s it. I like to serve stews like this in outsize deep white bowls and if you’re having carb withdrawal a slice of wholemeal bread is perfect for mopping up any final mouthful. I guess longer nights aren’t looking so bad after all.